The focal point of the paper is to summarize and compare the two studies. The first one is Shelley B. Wepner’s Technology Run Amok: The Top Ten TechnoBlunders published by International Reading Association, Inc in 2004 and the second article is Leslie P. Hitch’s Being prepared for Technology Snow Days, published by the Center for Applied Research in 2002.
Before the growth of the Information Technology revolution, it was obvious for students to communicate face to face or through telephone with the teacher. Assignments were also presented in hard copies. However, with the availability of IT facilities students are relying more and more on information technology, and most of the data, if not all, are stored in the computers. Under such parameters, the author constructs a scenario where it is found that no IT facilities are available and with it, all the data of the students are lost. The author then prepares a list of remedies under such fictitious yet possible situations to prevent the data from being lost.
The alternate solution to the possible crisis is to prepare for such a crisis. Here the authorities should formulate proper policies to counter the situation. In case there are no such policies then the legal risks should also be taken into consideration. Furthermore, the current policies should be evaluated to make them aligned with the electronic education delivery system. Alongside, there are several recommendations for the students, like keeping backups and using alternate communication systems. However, the most important and practical measure stated by the author is up-gradation and budget preparation. “Planning for technology failure carries budget implications. Equipment must be upgraded and services regularly to function properly. Redundant equipment is an additional expense. Personnel cost of training and support must also be considered.” (Hitch 2002) The author is not against technology but is skeptical and cautious.
Wepner indicates that one of the ten fundamental mistakes the people make about technology is that it can never fail. Even if technology fails, people feel that the help is right there for taking. She also mentions people feel that there would always be an active support system in case of a ‘techno blunder’ and they have superficial faith over software manufacturers. People also tend to use even difficult or boring websites even if manual work would have been easier. People also underestimate the technicalities of technology and overestimate their command of it, making things more difficult. There is also a myth that teaching with technology would be much better than conventional teaching. Lastly, the author indicates that there is simply no existence of plan B and that could prove costly at times.
Wepner is more open about the use of technology in the classroom. She feels that “technology ultimately makes us better teachers because it improves our ability to tailor instruction and expose students to new information and communication tools”. (Wepner 2004) Nevertheless, like Hitch, she prepares the readers about the failure of technology but she mainly blames the wrong perception of the mass about technology and the myths associated with it in the public mind.
Both the authors are in favor of preparing the students, teachers, and authorities for a possible collapse of IT. However, while Hitch is more on the traditional or conventional side of teaching, Wepner is happy to make IT a part of her life and profession but they both are cautious and worried about ‘Techno Blunder’ and find it a better option to prepare for the worst rather than suffer.
Hitch, L.P. (2002) ‘Being prepared for Technology Snow Days’, Center for Applied Research, vol. 2002, no. 24.
Wepner, SB. (2004) ‘Technology Run Amok: The Top Ten TechnoBlunders’, International Reading Association, Inc. Web.